Your task is twofold:
- Make substantial improvements to a Wikipedia article on a popular culture topic of interest to you.
- Write a reflection paper explaining how your edits improved the article in question. Include screenshots to show what you changed. (2-3 pages)
Choosing an article
The scope of possible topics is broad, and could include a particular fandom, a virtual world, or one of the more general ideas we’ve discussed in class. However, please stay away from articles about specific works which may consist largely of plot summaries.
Don’t choose an excellent article; choose one to which you can make some noticeable improvements.
When you are thinking about how to edit the article, look for any missing or inaccurate information, or information that could be better sourced.
Carefully read both your chosen article and its associated “Talk” page. The “Talk” page often includes suggestions about improvements that could be made to the page.
Over the next 1-2 weeks, check back to see whether any of your changes have been subject to further edits.
Wikipedia values the careful use of credible sources; this means that to make strong edits to a page, you will need to do research. Strategies for locating, evaluating, and using sources for this assignment will be discussed in class.
Your reflection should demonstrate that you understand the genre of a Wikipedia page. Use (and cite!) the materials we read about editing Wikipedia to explain your edits.
Be sure to explain what the page’s deficiencies were and how you addressed them. Be specific.
Audience: A general audience of Wikipedia readers and editors (for the article). A Wikipedia reader who is considering becoming an editor (for the evaluation)
Pre-Draft Writing Assignments: Brief assessment of a Wikipedia article, comparison between Wikipedia and TVTropes, research narrative.
Writing Lessons: Resources like Wikipedia are created by people like you (the student), and you are a legitimate author. Revision, using sources, writing collaboratively, evaluating sources, writing publicly, audience awareness. (potentially, writing as a fan for a non-fan audience)
Wikipedia policies and example articles
TVTropes example articles for contrast
Some readings constituting an introduction to fan cultures (see syllabus)